“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ~ Eric Schmidt
Believe it or not, I heard that from a television show I was watching yesterday; started writing it quickly in my hand for looking up later on… you guessed it… the Internet.
About 20 years ago, I did a research paper in a Sociology class about how the invention of the light bulb may have changed our society, more specifically our daily family life. I had tons of information (gathered mostly from books, not the Internet) but I kept the paper on the straight and narrow, addressing only the subjects of the outline. Still, I was amazed at the information I’d found that I couldn’t work with but still was viable information on the change which most definitely had happened in our lives. For the sake of an objective opinion, the light bulb is a great thing but maybe we have carried it a little too far? What do we gain versus what we lose? More money? More work time? Less time for family and friends? Difficult for me to say because I don’t know what you think.
Then yesterday, I heard the above referenced quote. Instantly, my mind went to social media and how it is used. Which made me think, “How IS it used?”
We use it to post about self, or family, or stories, or hateful and/or hurtful politics, or we’re out degrading someone or something or saying nothing important at all. We see what you’re having for dinner, we know when you’re mad at your husband or boyfriend or your subtle innuendos directed to someone who has no clue that your post is about them, if that person even sees it. It’s the place to use every foul word you know and get by with it because ‘it’s your page.’ It’s the way to spread hate, discrimination, dishonesty, have affairs, be accused of having an affair when nothing could be further from the truth. In short, we have turned into a full narcissistic and jealous society without even thinking about it.
Anything to make someone feel bad about their self.
Then we use it to post about self (again), family (again), or stories (again) with the hope that someone gets a smile or laugh out of it. We share happy photos of friends and loved ones, knowing they are appreciated. We can keep up with our friends that are under the weather, find out in a flash if there’s anything we can do to help. There’s always a happy video, a funny saying, a roll on the floor laughing poster, and there’s the poor doggie and kitty posts that need a forever home. We share our art, our creativity, our music, our devotions, prayer requests and we’re thankful to know there are those around that really care.
Anything to make someone feel good about their self.
I only participate in two social media sites – Facebook and this blog. The blog is simply for anything (literally) that comes to mind. It’s not, however, my private or personal journal. If it’s not a funny story, it’s about a subject that’s been on my mind. Anything other than that will be private and personal and not on any site.
This past week or so, I’ve been bombarded with Friend’s Requests on Facebook. I almost never receive Friend’s Requests as I keep my circle small and have people that will communicate with me. Ever so often, I go through the list and delete the ones that I never hear from or those I don’t see in the Newsfeed any longer. So no, I don’t get many Friend’s Requests… until this week. I knew one person for sure; the rest? From mutual friends. I check each person before accepting or declining and see that most of these mutual friends have over 1,000 friends on their list. Seriously? How in the world do you keep up with over 1,000 friends? You can’t! Can you? I also realized these mutual friends were one’s that didn’t communicate with me at all and I never saw them in the Newsfeed. I’ve sent messages to those sending requests asking if I know him or her. I don’t know these people and there’s no telling what they post, something I’m getting pickier and pickier about.
I’ll admit I’m somewhat addicted to sharing with others, especially photos I take or some music video or some hiking article or hiking place. Photography is a hobby and I have many photographer friends that message me with hints, help or atta girl, good job! My favorite subjects are nature and my grandkiddos. The death warmed over look keeps selfie’s to a minimum so no narcissism there. Music is a no-brainer. Hiking? More and more people are beginning to love the great outdoors as much as I do and that makes me smile.
You can see so much on social media if you only pay attention. Admittedly, there are some things someone doesn’t want to know and then there’s the extreme where someone wants to know everything about everything and have no qualms about asking something that may not be any of your business.
Which brings me back to the quote…
HAVE we unleashed the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had?
Do we REALLY think people are that interested in us?
Honest, I tried to write this objectively but know that there are some subjective points of view within. Please know I’m always interested in another opinion and realize there may not be a specific right or wrong.